Monday, March 8, 2010

Report Says Inmate Recidivism Rate as High as 94-Percent

This past Sunday, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that a unique long term study of recidivism rates found the problem to be worse than many had suspected. The study revealed that recidivism rates can be as high 94-percent for some inmates.

The numbers are part of a 20-year study, tracking inmates who were first jailed between 1987 and 1991, says psychologist Dr. Greg Little.

Little and psychologist Dr. Kenneth Robinson, founders of Correctional Counseling Inc., were trying out a new treatment program in 1987 and began tracking inmates to compare their results with those of inmates who went through only standard counseling. They followed each inmate, recording every re-arrest and every re-incarceration.

Tennessee Department of Correction studies show recidivism rates of about 51-percent over a three-year period, and national studies show recidivism averages of roughly 65-percent over three years. The study followed 1,381 inmates who first served time at the Shelby County (TN) Correction Center between 1987 and 1991. Some were taking part in Little's new treatment program . There were 1,052 inmates who used moral reconation therapy (MRT) and 329 inmates in a comparison group who received only standard therapy.

Results of the 20-year study included:

About 94-percent of inmates receiving only standard counseling had been rearrested and 82-percent of them wound up back behind bars.

Those receiving MRT therapy, had an 81-percent rearrest rate and 61-percent were rearrested. It was reduction of about 25-percent from the group that did not receive MRT therapy.

To read the entire article:

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